SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

At SparkFun we continually like to innovate, update, and improve even when it comes to our very own development boards. We have multiple versions of the SparkFun RedBoard in our catalog but none of them in an R3 form factor with a Qwiic connector on it to make I2C easy... until now! The SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic is an Arduino-compatible development board that uses a few of the features that we have loved about Arduinos of the past while also incorporating a few key improvements over the original RedBoard. The best part about the RedBoard Qwiic is that (as the name implies) it utilizes our handy Qwiic Connect System which means no soldering or shields are required to connect it to the rest of your system!

Of course, we didn't just add a Qwiic Connector to the board, lets go over all the new additions that make the SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic unique! With the improved AP2112 voltage regulator, this Reboard gains a more robust 3.3V regulator that provides it more power to daisy chain multiple Qwiic boards and sensors, sourcing up to 600mA of current. To help support the micro USB connector (updated from a Mini USB), the CH340C Serial-USB converter IC allows the RedBoard Qwiic should reduce the need for you to manually install drivers allowing for newer operating systems to automatically recognize and install the drivers for the board. Lastly, we have made sure to add a few solder jumpers to the board. The jumpers for the A4 and A5 pins are tied directly to the I2C bus and can be used to disconnect the logic level converters from the pins while the voltage level jumpers can switch the RedBoard Qwiic from a 3.3V device to a 5V device (no logic level converter needed).

The SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic can be programmed over a USB Micro-B cable using the Arduino IDE: Just plug in the board, select "Arduino UNO" from the board menu and you're ready to upload code. RedBoard Qwiic has all of the hardware peripherals you know and love: 20 Digital I/O pins with 6 PWM pins, UART, SPI and external interrupts. We've also broken out the SDA, SCL and IOREF pins that showed up on the UNO R3, so the RedBoard Qwiic will be compatible with future shields (if you choose to use them). You can power the SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic over USB or through the barrel jack. The on-board power regulator can handle anything from 7 to 15VDC. Check out the related items below for a compatible wall-wart power supply.


The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.


  • ATmega328 microcontroller with Optiboot (UNO) Bootloader
  • CH340C Serial-USB Converter
  • AP2112 Voltage Regulator
  • A4/A5 Jumpers
  • 3.3V to 5V Voltage Level Jumper
  • Input voltage - 7-15V
  • 1 Qwiic Connector
  • 20 Digital I/O Pins (6 PWM Outputs and 6 Analog Inputs)
  • ISP Header
  • 32k Flash Memory
  • 16MHz Clock Speed
  • All SMD Construction
  • R3 Shield Compatible
  • Improved Reset Button

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic Product Help and Resources

RedBoard Qwiic Hookup Guide

January 10, 2019

This tutorial covers the basic functionality of the RedBoard Qwiic. This tutorial also covers how to get started blinking an LED and using the Qwiic system.

Qwiic 12-Bit ADC Hookup Guide

May 23, 2019

Need to add more analog inputs for your project? Check out the Qwiic 12-bit ADC.

Displaying Your Coordinates with a GPS Module

April 30, 2019

This Arduino tutorial will teach you how to pinpoint and display your GPS coordinates with a press of a button using hardware from our Qwiic Connect System (I2C).

Qwiic Proximity Sensor (VCNL4040) Hookup Guide

February 28, 2019

The SparkFun Qwiic Proximity Sensor is a great, qualitative proximity (up to 20 cm) and light sensor. This hookup guide covers a few examples to retrieve basic sensor readings.

Capacitive Touch Slider (CAP1203) Hookup Guide

May 30, 2019

An easy and Qwiic way to add capacitive touch to any of your projects using the CAP1203! In this guide, we go over how to connect and set up your Capacitive Touch Slider so you can start playing with it right away.

Qwiic Joystick Hookup Guide

February 21, 2019

Looking for an easy way to implement a joystick to your next Arduino or Raspberry Pi project? This hookup guide will walk you through using the Qwiic Joystick with the Arduino IDE on a RedBoard Qwiic and in Python on a Raspberry Pi.

SparkFun Inventor's Kit Experiment Guide - v4.1

August 8, 2019

The SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK) Experiment Guide contains all of the information needed to build all five projects, encompassing 16 circuits, in the latest version of the kit, v4.1.

How to Install CH340 Drivers

August 6, 2019

How to install CH340 drivers (if you need them) on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
See all skill levels


Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Comments

Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • If it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you replace the voltage selection solder jumper with either a small switch or a header that accepts a jumper in one of two positions (in the next revision)? Solder jumpers make it too easy to create unintended circuits once they have been switched more than once due to residual solder.

    • I would recommend throwing a comment on the BlackBoard product page (the BlackBoard gets revised more frequently), that would probably be the best route to possibly get that change. If there is a lot of customer feedback, I'm sure the design change will be made in the next revision.

  • Arduino IDE "Port" cannot locate the RedBoard Qwiic even FTDI driver 2.4.2 installed on my Mac Pro, anyone can help with this ?

  • Great improvements guys! Firstly the upgraded 3.3v reg, about time! The quick connector for I2C is great as well. There is a few of things I'v always missed on standard arduinos. I would like a product that works as a permanent device so I can just buy 5-10 of them and use them in 80% of all my projects, without customization. Call it "Red board pro" :D

        • Replace the headers with Poke-home connectors or similar so wires wont come loose.
        • Mosfets, I think most ppl wants to control something either at more than 40 mA or at higher than 5v. To buy a sheild/do perfboard magic just to toggle a 12v, 30 mA panel light is a bit cumbersome.
    • 2.1 - Make Vin 7-24v, lots of applications uses 24v.
    • 2.2 - 3 small n-channel mosfets like FDV303N (0.05 USD on reel) to drive loads up to 700mA. With jumper to select 5v or Vin.
    • 2.3 - 1 DRV8803 or similar 4 channel driver, for coils, relays, unipolar stepmotors, dc-motors etc (1.5 USD on reel). With over current/temp protection, protective diodes etc.

    Arduinos are made to be just for prototyping and works great but when everything is tested and a permanent setup is needed, you pretty much have two options; run with a janky arduino-perfboard setup or design and order a real pcb (which often feels overkill). So if you guys could create a better permanent option that'd be great! And thanks for keeping everything open source and putting so much work into your eagle libraries, I learned a lot from it back in school!

    • Sorry for the delay in responding.

      Really appreciate the feedback. We are always looking to make improvements to designs to make our customers lives easier. While we are not looking to update this design immediately(we just released it!), we will revisit your feedback when we look at updating the features to this board.

      Glad you've been able to learn from our online sources. Being open source encourages people to share and learn from each other. It also forces us to focus on what we do best and constantly innovate.

    • These are great suggestions, you should leave a comment on SparkFun BlackBoard product page. SparkX is more R&D focused and may adapt some of your requests (not guaranteed to happen).

      Although it has yet to be implemented, the USB-C feature on that BlackBoard allows for greater flexibility in sourcing power. I know they were at least looking to upgrade the fuse or create a bypass jumper for users to source more power through the USB-C connection.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 4 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

Trouble At First, But Works

Massive problems out of the box. Not immediately recognized by Windows, and had to peruse the little traveled inter-spaces just to find out the solution was to download a driver called CH31SER.zip. That took most of my day to find because tech support is not available on the weekend... which is when I received my product (which took 20 days to get to me... not exaggerating). So, minus one star for not being ready to use out of the box, and having a very obscure fix.

Works just like an Arduino once you get it working, so big plus! Here's a star for that.

Qwiic seems to function properly, if you can get the libraries to work the first time. Had some trouble with that, but good thing I'm persistent. Minus a star for inconsistent library function.

I really like the lack of through-pins on the back side. Makes it easy to mount and prototype. It seems faster than the normal Arduino, too, but that could just be my imagination. Tried several standard sketches and some very Arduino specific ones, and it works like a champ. Two stars for compatibility and design!

Overall, I still recommend, but beware if you get one like mine. The driver issues I had were solved, once I found a solution, however it was not a widely recognized solution. Also, the driver problem was due to a serial chip not manufactured in the US, and therefore not part of the normal driver update. This should have been either pre-loaded, or part of the tutorial. Sad face.

I am still happy with the product, but unhappy with my lost day trying to find a solution. Also, not completely happy about the Qwiic problems I have had. Especially, because I bought it for Qwiic connections.

If you are interested in a superior Arduino-type product, then this is definitely what you are looking for, but be aware of potential problems out of the box. If you have said problems, then then be ready to burn some midnight oil fixing them.

Would still buy it again, even knowing all of this.

QWIIC and easy

works as expected for an Arduino board, and the QWIIC connection makes setting up an I2C bus easy - no more messing with wires and pullups.

None of the problems mentioned by Member #299089, mine worked great out of the box.

The arduino swiss knife

What can I say about a near perfect arduino board. The support is great, I like the 3.3V regulator which give plenty power for attached devices. If you ask me to be picky: Maybe put a jumper to disconnect the D13 LED?

Perfect for one-off projects that need to go together quickly

I had to assemble a system to take physical input and output a result on a very tight deadline. I decided to measure the input by weight, using this and the QWIIC Scale board. Between the two of these and the libraries provided for using them, I had a working prototype in only a few hours of work. These two products were perfectly matched to my application.